Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside and Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that B.C. K-12 students will return to school for full time, in person instruction in September. To ensure a healthy and safe return to school, updates have been made to the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings (in alignment with the BCCDC COVID-19 Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 Schools). Masks will also continue to be required in all indoor spaces for all K-12 staff, visitors and students in grades 4 to 12 in schools and on school buses. Here are our updated our health and safety protocols, in compliance with Ministry of Education requirements: 2021 Health and Safety Guidelines.
IMPORTANT for international travellers (as of August 27, 2021):
- Fully vaccinated travellers 12 years and older can qualify for exemption from the mandatory 14-day quarantine period and Day 8 testing requirement (though must still complete the pre-entry testing requirement and randomized arrival testing if required)
- Unvaccinated travellers under 12 who accompanied by travellers who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption can qualify for exemption from the mandatory 14-day quarantine period (but still must complete the pre-entry, randomized arrival and Day 8 tests)
- Quarantine and testing are considered to be separate requirements – receiving a negative pre-entry or arrival test result does not exempt a traveller from the quarantine period.
- For questions related to international travel quarantine, refer to the federal government’s website: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/covid-vaccinatedtravellers-entering-canada.
- INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS must meet requirements on https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2021/07/international-students-and-travel-to-canada.html
Independent Schools COVID-19 Update – September 10, 2021 (from Ministry of Education and FISA)
- Check the provincial government’s vaccine card website for updated information.
- The latest information and resources for parents and students about the 2020/21 school year is available on the COVID-19 Return to School website and the Safe and Healthy Schools website.
- COVID-19 Student Impacts Research Report Released: The Ministry has released a research report examining the evidence of impacts to student learning resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The report incorporates a review of published literature, a jurisdictional scan, and multiple sources of provincial data including summative data from the 2019/20 school year, and documenting enrolment trends, transition and attendance patterns, and delivery of education in the 2020/21 school year, as of February 2021. Further research is underway.
- Daily health check app: Bookmark the website: k12dailycheck.gov.bc.ca. It includes current health guidelines and offers an age-appropriate user-experience for K to 12 students.
- The BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 dashboard: http://www.bccdc.ca/hea…/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data
- All joint statements from Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix are posted here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/ministries/health
- BC’s Response to COVID-19 website: Provides up-to-date non-clinical information on COVID-19. The COVID-19 app is available on Apple’s app store and the Google Play store. British Columbians can also use the new provincial phone service by calling 1-888-COVID19, available seven days a week from 7:30AM to 8:00PM, with information in over 110 languages. Specific public health questions re: COVID-19 should be directed to your local health authority.
Mental Health and Wellness Resources
With so much happening, it’s normal to feel worried and overwhelmed. It’s important to look after mental health and well-being during COVID-19. Links to mental well-being resources for children, youth, parents and caregivers are available on the BCCDC Mental Well-being Page. There are many resources available, and we encourage you to explore to find the one that works best for you. Mental health and wellness are always important, and even more so in these challenging times. Please reach out if you need support.
- The Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre offers tips for caring for younger children, parents and caregivers.
- Compassionate Learning Communities – Supporting Trauma-Informed Practice
- Linda O’Neill – Trauma Informed in the Classroom
- Ministry of Children and Familes: Healing Families, Helping Systems
- Parents grade 1-6 https://www.anxietycanada.
- COVID-19 Youth Mental Health Resource Hub: https://jack.org/covid
- Grade 7-12 App https://www.
- Grade 7-12 https://www.
anxietycanada.com/articles/ covid19-balancing-public- health-and-mental-health/
- Grade 9-12 https://www.anxietycanada.com/
articles/what-to-do-if-you- are-anxious-or-worried-about- coronavirus-covid-19/
- Grade 7 and Up https://foundrybc.ca/